Breast Augmentation Recovery

Breast Augmentation Recovery

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Detailed Guide To Breast Augmentation Recovery. 


Breast augmentation surgery is one of the most common cosmetic procedures in the UK. Knowing what happens during and after the procedure is crucial for individuals considering breast enlargement surgery. The procedure is usually done as a day case, but recovery can take several weeks. In this informative guide, we’ll take you through breast augmentation recovery, providing helpful advice about what to expect and sharing tips for healthy, speedy healing. 

The Breast Augmentation Recovery Process

The breast augmentation recovery process begins as soon as surgery is complete. Your surgeon will provide advice and information to help you in the days, weeks and months after the procedure. In most cases, breast enlargement takes around 2-4 hours. Once the effects of the general anaesthetic have worn off and your care team is satisfied that you are ready, you can go home. You can move around shortly after the procedure, but it is essential to organise a lift home and ensure you rest. Here are some key elements to focus on during the recovery process:

Preparing for a successful recovery

To prepare for a successful recovery, it is essential to listen to the advice provided by your surgeon and to ensure that you give your body sufficient time to heal. Your surgeon will outline steps to help you recover at home, and they will also schedule regular appointments after the procedure to check your progress and make sure that everything is progressing as expected. It is critical to contact your surgeon if you have any questions or concerns after treatment. Don’t wait for the next check if you’re worried you’re not recovering as you should be. Individuals having surgery should be aware that there will be side effects after the operation, including pain, scarring and bruising. 

Managing pain and discomfort post-surgery

It is common to experience mild, temporary pain and discomfort after breast enlargement surgery. Most people will be advised to take painkillers for a few days to ease discomfort. You can also manage pain by wearing a sports bra and comfortable clothing and avoiding doing anything strenuous. We recommend sleeping at a 45-degree angle for the first couple of weeks. If you are taking painkillers and you’re still struggling with intense pain or severe discomfort, contact your surgeon.

Caring for your incisions

Preventing infection is one of the most important recovery aims following breast augmentation surgery. When you have treatment, the team will provide detailed advice to help you properly care for your incisions to lower the infection risk. Keeping the area clean and dry during the healing process is important. Avoid any activity or movement involving excessive stretching and protect your skin from the sun. The incisions should be shielded from direct sunlight for up to two months. 

Week-by-Week Recovery Timeline

There are different stages of breast augmentation recovery. Here is a week-by-week guide to help you heal after surgery:

Week 1: Immediate post-operative care

After surgery, your surgeon will advise you to rest and take it easy. For the first 1-2 weeks, it is advisable to avoid the following activities:

  • Driving
  • Exercise
  • Heavy lifting
  • Having sex
  • Going to work

Your surgeon may also advise you to sleep at a 45-degree angle and wear a sports bra. You will also need to follow instructions to care for your incisions. 

Weeks 2-3: Gradual resumption of activities

After 2-3 weeks, you should be able to resume most everyday activities, including going to work, doing gentle exercise and driving. Suppose you have a physically demanding job, or your job requires you to undertake strenuous exercise or heavy lifting. In that case, your surgeon may advise you to take slightly longer off work or adapt your usual activities to lower risks. At this stage, wearing a sports bra and rest is still advisable. 

Weeks 4-6: Transition to normal activity

By reaching the 6-week milestone, you should be able to do most activities and jobs you did before surgery. Your scars should start to fade, you should feel more comfortable, and you can embrace a more active lifestyle. We recommend wearing a sports bra for up to 6 weeks. We will schedule follow-up checks six weeks, three months and six months after the procedure. 

Key Factors for a Smooth Recovery

Key factors for a smooth recovery post-surgery include:

Choosing the right surgeon and procedure

Choosing the right surgeon is one of the most critical aspects of treatment planning. If you are considering breast augmentation surgery, research clinics and learn more about surgeons. Look for experienced surgeons who have an excellent track record and expertise in the field of breast surgery. Choosing the correct procedure and finding a fantastic surgeon are essential. During your consultation, your surgeon will discuss options with you. This is essential because it enables the surgeon to check that you are a suitable candidate for a specific treatment and ensures that you have realistic expectations going into the procedure. 

Following post-operative instructions diligently

When you have breast augmentation surgery, your surgeon will give you detailed instructions and advice to enable you to recover effectively at home. It is crucial to follow post-operative instructions diligently to reduce risks, ease side effects, such as pain, and ensure you recover entirely as quickly as possible. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact your surgeon. 

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle

Surgery can take its toll on your body. During recovery, taking good care of yourself and trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle is hugely beneficial. Get plenty of rest and good-quality sleep, move around and exercise when it’s safe, eat well, stay hydrated and try to avoid stress. 

Common Concerns During Recovery

It is perfectly understandable for individuals who have breast surgery to have concerns about what happens after the procedure. Common concerns during recovery include:

  • Dealing with swelling and bruising

It is common to experience swelling and bruising in the days after breast augmentation surgery. Painkillers can help to ease discomfort and reduce swelling. Some people also find that applying an ice pack to the breast tissue reduces inflammation (if you use an ice pack, take care not to get your incisions wet). Bruising tends to dissipate after 7-10 days, but mild bruising may be visible for a few weeks. Applying a cold compress to the area can help to ease the discomfort caused by bruising. 

  • Managing scar formation

Scarring is common after surgery. There are various ways to reduce the visibility of scarring, but scars will fade naturally over time. Wearing a sports bra, keeping the skin dry, avoiding hot showers and applying topical creams and gels can help you to manage scarring. We also recommend avoiding direct sunlight and encourage individuals to follow aftercare instructions, stay hydrated and avoid smoking. 

  • Addressing sensation changes

Some people experience changes in sensations in their nipples after surgery. You may find that your nipples are more or less sensitive than normal, or your nipples may feel numb. Changes in sensation are usually short-lived, but they can be permanent. If you experience heightened sensitivity or numbness after several weeks, speak to your surgeon. 

Potential Complications & Risks of Augmentation Recovery

Every individual undergoing surgical treatment should know the risks and complications before agreeing to proceed. When you have a breast augmentation consultation, your surgeon will discuss potential complications, side effects and risks with you to ensure you have all the information you need. Most people recover fully within weeks without any worries, but there are risks. Potential complications include:

  1. Infection and bleeding

All types of surgical operations risk excessive bleeding, blood clots and infections. Symptoms of infections include fever, pain in the breast, redness and severe swelling. Contact your surgeon immediately if you notice these symptoms during your recovery. 

  1. Capsular contracture and implant rupture

Capsular contracture (1) occurs when the breast feels very hard due to scar tissue shrinking around the implant. A ruptured implant causes small lumps to form within the breasts. These lumps are siliconomas and can usually only be spotted on scans. If an implant ruptures, the next step is to remove it. This article explains in more detail what it is, its causes, signs you may have it, risks associated with it and how it can be treated.:


  1. Revision surgery

In some cases, revision surgery may be required. Revision surgery may be recommended if there are complications during recovery, such as capsular contracture, the implant ruptures or fails, or the implant isn’t positioned correctly. 

Monitoring Your Progress

After surgery, your surgeon and care team will guide you through recovery. Monitoring progress and ensuring you are on track is beneficial during your recovery. Monitoring includes:

Regular check-ups with your surgeon

After your procedure, you can return home and start your recovery. Your surgeon will schedule regular checks and follow-up appointments to see how you are getting on and check that everything looks good. Attending your appointments and contacting your surgeon if you have any concerns or questions between appointments is essential. When you go to the clinic for your follow-up appointment, your surgeon will check your breasts, and they will also ask you questions to ensure that you’re recovering well and coping fine after surgery. Usually, checks occur within the first two weeks and after six weeks, three months and six months. You may be advised to see your surgeon more frequently if you have lingering side effects or complications. 

Breast implants surveillance and Registry

Breast implant surgery aims to enhance the shape and appearance of the breasts and increase the size of the bust safely and effectively. To promote safety and protect individuals, the details of all procedures are recorded in the Breast and Cosmetic Implant Registry, launched in 2016. For example, the registry allows officials to contact individuals who may be affected if there are any issues or safety concerns with a specific type or brand of implant. Surveillance is continuous in the UK to ensure maximum protection for patients. 

Mammograms and breast health

After surgery, it’s essential to keep up to date with routine mammograms designed to detect changes in the breast tissue and flag signs of breast cancer. If you have breast implants, you can still attend screening appointments, but you’ll need to inform the operator that you have implants so that they can carry out the relevant assessments. It is important to remember that you can still get breast cancer after breast surgery. Check your breasts regularly and see your GP if you have any concerns; for example, if you feel a lump in the breast or armpit, notice abnormal swelling, or change the appearance of your breasts.

Resuming Exercise and Physical Activities After Breast Augmentation

Exercise is incredibly beneficial for mental and physical health. Being active can aid recovery and boost overall health, but following your surgeon’s instructions before exercising after surgery is vital. Your surgeon will advise against strenuous exercise for at least two weeks. During this phase of the recovery process, it’s essential to rest and let your body heal. 

  • Safe exercise recommendations

It is best to start slowly and build up to more intense exercise after breast surgery. You can walk immediately after the procedure but try to avoid other forms of physical activity for the first two weeks. From 2-4 weeks after surgery, start increasing activity levels gradually. Sticking to relatively gentle activities that won’t get in the way of the healing process is best. Increase your speed when you’re walking or add an incline to get a more intense cardio workout, use an exercise bike and stretch your lower body using yoga and Pilates poses and moves that don’t involve the chest or arms. It’s best to avoid heavy lifting and sports like rowing, which pull on the chest and arms. 

After six weeks, you can enjoy a wider range of activities, including playing sports like golf, tennis and soccer, swimming, jogging, cycling and hiking. 

Pay attention to safe exercise recommendations from your surgeon and listen to your body. If you’re exhausted or experience pain after working out during recovery, take time to rest. It’s best to let your body heal before you try to lift weights or do intense cardio. It may take several weeks or months to feel confident enough to resume a full fitness regime. 

  • Precautions for high-impact workouts

It is wise to avoid high-impact workouts for at least 2-6 weeks after breast surgery. Suppose you are ready to exercise after this period, and your surgeon is happy for you to add more intense activities to your routine. In that case, it’s essential to go steadily, give yourself time to rest between workouts and make sure you wear a well-fitted, supportive bra. 

  • When to return to your fitness routine

If you are a fit and active person, it’s natural to want to get back into training as soon as possible after surgery. Most people can resume exercise within a few weeks, but it may take a while to get back to the intensity levels you were used to before your procedure. It’s beneficial to take it day by day and listen to your surgeon. Recovery times vary between individuals, and some people may be able to resume a training plan earlier than others. 

Embracing Your Results After Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation surgery changes your appearance and may impact how you feel about your body. It can take time to adjust to your new breasts look and feel and adapt to your new look. Here are some tips to help you embrace the new you:

  1. Adjusting to your enhanced figure: breast enlargement increases the size of the breasts. If you’re used to having small breasts, it’s natural to take time to get used to your new, enhanced figure. Take your time to get to grips with your new body, look in the mirror and have fun experimenting with clothes and outfits. Remember that it can take several weeks for the full effects of surgery to become visible as side effects and scars subside and fade.
  1. Confidence and self-esteem boost: many people choose breast augmentation surgery to enhance their confidence and boost self-esteem. Don’t be afraid to show off your new figure; look in the mirror and enjoy feeling more confident in your skin. 
  1. Long-term satisfaction and care: if you’ve had a boob job, it’s understandable to want to enjoy the results for as long as possible. Take good care of yourself, maintain good breast health and follow long-term care instructions from your surgeon. 


Breast augmentation is a hugely popular cosmetic procedure designed to increase the size of the breasts. After surgery, it’s essential to take time to rest and recover. It can take several weeks to recover fully, although most people can resume everyday activities after a few weeks. To facilitate effective, healthy healing, choose an experienced surgeon, follow instructions from your surgeon for post-operative care, look after yourself and keep up with follow-up checks and appointments. 


Mr Sheikh Ahmad Private Clinic

Please don’t hesitate to contact our helpful patient coordinators today to get your questions answered or to book a consultation with Mr Ahmad. To learn more about breast enlargement, please check out our procedure page here: We cover important information with regard to who this may suit, the consultation process and pre/post-surgery expectations. Mr Ahmad is General Medical Council, and his clinic is Care Quality Commission Registered.  His GMC number can be found on our “About Us” page.


(1) American Society of Plastic Surgeons

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